Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

The Eyes May Have It for Law Enforcement

By Reed, Fred | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 3, 1996 | Go to article overview

The Eyes May Have It for Law Enforcement


Reed, Fred, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Several months ago I was in Chicago and talked to Sheriff Michael Sheahan of Cook County.

He's an interesting guy with a practical, non-ideological approach to law enforcement, neither a kill-'em-all hard-liner nor a let-'em-all-out soft-liner. I almost never like politicians, but this one, I did.

Anyway, we chatted mostly about the usual questions of police work that this column worries about regularly, so we won't go into what he said.

What especially got my attention was his effort to bring automated biometric identification to Cook County. Basically the idea is as follows:

Identifying criminals and suspects has been a major headache for law enforcement. In the past, for example, different jurisdictions kept their own fingerprint records. If John Dillinger got picked up in Bethesda, he'd probably be let loose because his prints were in Chicago.

This improved with the advent of the fax because Bethesda could transmit a suspect's prints to another jurisdiction for identification.

Things improved yet more with the coming of computer networking: Local jurisdictions could share their print files electronically so that a guy wanted in one county would be detected when printed in another county.

Unfortunately, fingerprinting remained a pain in the neck. It was slow. Prints taken with ink tended to be of low quality unless taken by somebody competent, and they had to be scanned into databases.

Computerized searches of print files helped, but the computers weren't always connected to each other.

Now a couple of good technologies are available to solve these problems. Sheriff Sheahan is trying to get both into Cook County.

One, called Eyedent, is a retina-scan system in use in the Cook County Court Services division.

Human retinas have unique patterns of blood vessels that can be used to identify people with virtual certainty. The person to be identified simply looks briefly into a set of eyepieces. The equipment scans the retina and, within seconds, voila, it's Dillinger, says so right on the screen.

The idea isn't new, but the technology to do it practically is.

The other technology is automated fingerprinting. The suspect puts his fingertips on a glass plate. The circuitry automatically images his prints and compares them with its database. Gosh, it's Judge Crater, after all these years.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Eyes May Have It for Law Enforcement
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.